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Ryan Howard's Playoff Eye

Ryan Howard is having a strong postseason at the plate. During the regular season Ryan Howard's swing rate for balls outside the strike zone was 31.5%. So far in the 2010 post season Ryan Howard's swing rate for balls outside the strike zone has dropped to 22.2%. As a result he is seeing an average of 4.14 pitches per plate appearance.

All that said, he is still striking out - 9 Ks in 21 plate appearances.

Ryan Howard Post Season Stats (through Sunday October, 17):

PA: 21
Pitches: 87
Avg: .333
OBP: .429
WOBA: .392
Hits: 6
Ks: 9


Phil Hughes with Two Strikes

Phil Hughes had a little trouble with two strikes against the Rangers' hitters in Game 2 of the ALCS.  He went to two strikes on two lefty batters, walking one and yielding a double to the other.  After two strikes to 10 right handed Rangers, Hughes allowed 4 hits (2 doubles, 1 triple) while striking out 3.

Phil Hughes Contact Rate with 2 Strikes (26 pitches)Phil Hughes In Play Rate with 2 Strikes (26 pitches)The top map shows the contact rate (number of balls in play + fouls / number of swings) against Phil Hughes with two strikes on Saturday.  Too much red there.  The bottom map shows the in play rate (balls put in play / swings).  It seemed as though Hughes was trying to elevate his pitches with two strikes against the Rangers, but they weren't missing.  Just for comparison, here's his 2010 in play map:

Phil Hughes 2010 In Play Rate with 2 Strikes vs. RHB (492 pitches)

Phil Hughes 2010 In Play Rate with 2 Strikes vs. LHB (524 pitches)



ALCS Game One Strikezone

Here are the heatmaps for both C.J. Wilson and CC Sabathia from last night's ALCS Game One, separated by balls and called strikes as determined by home plate umpire Gerry Davis.

C.J. Wilson's Called Ball Frequency (36 pitches)CC Sabathia's Called Ball Frequency (42 pitches)C.J. Wilson's Called Strike Frequency (46 pitches)CC Sabathia's Called Strike Frequency (37 pitches)

Early in the game, it seemed as though Sabathia was not getting the paint on the outside corner to righty batters.  However, it looks like Gerry Davis wasn’t calling pitches on the upper left side of the zone much for either pitcher.  It just seemed to harm CC more since he kept trying to hit that spot early on.

However, when comparing Wilson’s called strikes to Sabathia’s called balls, it appears Wilson was getting that lower right portion of the zone more.  In fact, CC seemed to miss out on a few calls that were probably within that lower right portion of the strikezone.

Combining the called strike and ball data gives us the called strike rates for both pitchers:

C.J. Wilson's Called Strike RateCC Sabathia's Called Strike Rate